If I Represent Myself Pro Se in Court, Does the Judge Have an Obligation to Make Sure I’m Not Hoodwinked?

A pro se litigant is responsible for his or her complete case.

Some judges may give some leeway in courtroom procedure to pro se litigants, but many will not.

All judges will expect the pro se litigant to fully understand the laws being considered by the court.

It is not the judge’s responsibility to “ensure” anything; the judge’s only responsibility is to rule on the case that both sides present to the court.

Arguing a case in front of a magistrate in small claims court is one thing; that type of court situation has an expectation for ‘variations’. Taking on a full legal matter against an experienced attorney in an upper-level court is another.

For most people (but of course, not all people), litigation and other court room activities should be done with counsel from a qualified attorney.

It is for that reason that unless you are fully certain of all the facts and procedures of a case, Standard Legal suggests finding legal counsel to handle courtroom actions. You can find a local attorney for FREE at Standard Legal’s Attorney Find page.